Women and Children in the Goldfield

By Saramaria


In 1854 there was about 4023 women in Ballerat compered to the men, 12,660, living on the goldfields and 5% of the women were single and 95% were married. Bettween 1851-I860 there were 6000,000 people on the goldfields. Many of the women were talented so they were also in charge of the entertainment. There was always more men then women on the goldfields looking for gold, there were women on the goldfields but not many. In the begging women were looking for gold with their husbands, brothers or friends.


Many families did not have good education for their children in the goldfields.There were several forms of schooling depending on the number of students attending the school. The teachers were often young and they weren't perfectly trained and they and they had many differant ways of teaching the students. The teachers would travel from house-to-house so they can teach the students. The school houses were tents so they often were blown away or the roof was leaking.

Roles and Resposibilitys of women in the Goldfields

Women were in charge of washing, ironing, choping wood, helping men find gold and cooking. The women used to make bread, butter, jams, soup and clothes for the entier family. There wern't many women on the goldfields at that time. Some women had talent so they were also doing the entertainment when they were on the goldfields. The living condition was very cramp whitch meant that at the goldfields for the women was very uncomfertable. There wern't many women at the goldfields and there are only three resons why:

1. They were looking after the children at home.

2. They were shopkeepers at the goldfields.

3. Some of the women were looking or digging for gold.


Many women died when they were giving birth to children because of some kid of sickness. Epidemics of illnesses such as diptheria, whooping cough, measles, typhoid and scarlet fever swept through the goldfields, which often made many women, men and children die. The illnesses spread to many people that were living on the goldfields. Many people lost members of there family,some children lost their perants or siblings, women lost their husbends or children and men lost their wife or children.

Many children dieed in the gold fields due to the foul muddy water they drank, so a cemetary was built called ' Pennyweight Flats Cemetary" or as they liked to call it ' Pennyweight Flats Children's Cemetary'. They called it that because more than 200 children died there. Some children were recoverd with herbs that that their mothers bought for them from the chinese people. It was know that not many chinese people got sick or died.